11 Interesting Facts About Diamonds

 

Diamonds may be the most well-known gemstone in the world. Renowned for their beauty and stunning sparkle, these gems adorn the fingers, wrists, ears, and necks of many across the world.

With so many variations in color and shape, there really is a diamond for every person out there. But while you may love the look of diamonds, you may not know a lot about them.

Here are eleven facts about diamonds that will make you love the classic gemstones even more.

1. Ancient Origins

Ancient societies like Greeks and Romans had interesting beliefs on the origin of diamonds. They believed that the gemstones originated from stars falling to earth. They also thought diamonds came from the tears the gods cried.

A Greek philosopher even wrote that diamonds were living beings, embodying celestial spirits. In these ancient societies, diamond rings were common practice, especially among the wealthy.

Uncut diamonds were the norm because it was believed that cut diamonds caused the gems to lose their protective properties.

2. Happy Billionth Birthday

Despite their shiny new appearance, diamonds are very old. Diamonds mined from the earth are billions of years old. Some diamonds may even be as old as three billion years.

This means that diamonds are older than all land-dwelling plants and animals, including dinosaurs. It's believed that diamonds originally formed in ancient carbon inside of magma. So many diamonds may be almost as old as the earth itself.

3. What Are Diamonds Made Of

There's a common misconception that diamonds are made from coal under immense pressure and heat. This is only half true since coal isn't the start of a diamond.

Unlike many gemstones, diamonds are made of a single element. These gems are almost 100% carbon formed from heat and pressure. This unique process makes the carbon atoms bond in a way that creates a rate crystalline structure.

This process of high temperatures and immense pressure can take anywhere from 1 billion to 3.3 billion years to form.

4. Where Diamonds Form

It's well known that diamonds form well below the earth's surface. But how far down do diamonds begin their growth? Deep underground in complete darkness, natural diamonds start to form.

About 140 to 190 kilometers—or about 87 to 118 miles—below the surface is where carbon turns into diamonds. The diamond stability zone is a high-pressure region where diamonds are created.

Magma from deep volcanic eruptions can make its way to the earth's surface with igneous rocks that hold diamonds inside.

5. Mining for Diamonds

Diamonds have such high demand and huge popularity that massive quantities get mined every year. Annually, miners extract about 28,000 tons of diamonds from the earth. That's almost 130 million carats worth of diamonds brought to the surface.

6. Interstellar Origins

While most diamonds form under the earth's surface from carbon under pressure and heat, not every diamond comes from below. Some diamonds come from above, way above.

Found in Africa and South America, scientists believe carbonado diamonds have come from an asteroid that hit the earth nearly three billion years ago. These diamonds are not like the diamonds found on eath.

Carbonado diamonds contain much more graphite and are porous, making them ideal for black diamond jewelry.

7. The Diamond Capital

New York City has often been called the Capital of the World because of many headquarters for entertainment, communication, and businesses. But the title of Diamond Captial of the World goes to Antwerp, Belgium.

Through Antwerp, almost 84% of rough diamonds and almost 50% of cut diamonds pass through this city. Attracting many international diamond traders looking for high-quality diamonds.

But New York City isn't left out of the diamond trade and is a diamond capital in its own right. NYC finds more than 80% of the world's diamonds passing through. Here they're sold and resold in the famous diamond district as well as at auctions.

8. Diamond Colors

The image most people think of a diamond is a colorless, shiny stone. Pure diamonds that are transparent and colorless might be the most sought after. But diamonds are often can come in a variety of colors when they're pulled from the ground.

These colored diamonds are because of impurities or structural defects that change the color. However, the gem can be just as shiny and stunning in jewelry. Common diamond colors include steel gray, blue, red, pink, black, and yellow.

9. Industrial Use

Most people love their diamonds as sparkly pieces of jewelry they can wear as an accessory. But jewelry isn't the only use for diamonds. Many industries use diamonds in their tools.

In the medical field, some surgical scalpels may have diamond blades. And industrial applications like cutting, drilling, grinding, and polishing diamonds may be used in tools to get the job done.

10. World Famous Diamonds

While all diamonds are beautiful and unique in whatever jewelry they're used in, some diamonds are more well-known.

For example, the Cullinan diamond is the largest diamond ever discovered. Discovered in South Africa in 1905, the Cullinan diamond was 3106 carats or about 1.33 pounds and named for the mine's chairman, Thomas Cullinan.

The Cullinan diamond was cut into nine diamonds, three of which are displayed in the Tower of London.

Another famous—rather, infamous—diamond is the Hope Diamond. This 45.52 carat, deep-blue diamond is stunning but deadly. This infamous diamond is said to have a curse attached to it.

The curse is said to foretell bad luck and death for the owner of the diamond and all who touch it. Many of the previous owners have died under mysterious circumstances. The Hope diamond is now on display at the Smithsonian Institute.

11. Human-Made Diamonds

While natural diamonds have reigned supreme for years, human-made diamonds have become increasingly popular in recent years. Grown in a lab, these diamonds are a marvel of modern science.

You may think that you would be able to tell the difference between lab-grown and natural diamonds, but it's extremely hard. Even professional gemologists have a hard time telling the two apart. That's because the two diamonds are structurally identical.

Facts About Diamonds You'll Never Forget

Who doesn't love to receive diamonds? Whether it's a sparkly new necklace, glimmering earrings, or the much anticipating engagement ring, diamonds are always a good idea. Many people want a little sparkle in their lives.

For one of the world's most well-loved gemstones, you may not know much about diamonds. You'll never forget these interesting facts about diamonds when you look at your stunning jewelry.

Looking for some sparkle and shine? Our diamond experts would be happy to help you find the ideal gem for you.